By Kamran Yousaf
Islamabad, September 30 (Express Tribune): Barely days after his what many believe a successful visit to the United Nations, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday removed the country’s permanent representative to the UN in New York Dr Maleeha Lodhi and appointed veteran diplomat Munir Akram as new envoy to the world body’s headquarters.
The development is seen as surprising since many including government ministers praised Lodhi and her team for successfully managing PM Imran’s visit to New York.
The appointment of Akram, who previously served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, also indicates that Pakistan is going to launch a diplomatic offensive on Kashmir and against India.
Akram is a veteran diplomat and is one of the ambassadors who believe in hardcore approach towards India instead of appeasement.
The removal of Lodhi and appointment of Akram was part of many other transfers and postings approved by the prime minister in the foreign ministry.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office said Akram had been appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN in place of Lodhi. No reason was given for the change.
In other appointments, Muhammad Aejaz, Additional Secretary (AIT) at MoFA has been appointed as Ambassador of Pakistan to Hungary, Syed Sajjad Haider, presently serving as Charge d’ Affaires (ap) of Pakistan to Pyongyang has been posted as Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait; Khalil Ahmad Hashmi, presently serving as Director General (UN) at MoFA has been appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva.
Similarly, Imran Ahmad Siddiqui, presently serving as Consul General of Pakistan Toronto has been posted as High Commissioner of Pakistan for Dhaka, Bangladesh; Ahsan KK Wagan, presently serving as Charge d’ Affaires (ap) in Niamey, Niger has been appointed as Ambassador of Pakistan to Muscat, Oman.
Major General (retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak has been appointed as the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka while Abdul Hamid has been appointed as Pakistan’s Consul General in Toronto.
Abrar Hussain Hashmi has been appointed as Pakistan’s Consul General in Houston, according to the official handout.
(The featured image at the top shows Munir Akram)